Beautiful Earth

In all its beauty

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July interview: Dr. John Blatherwick

It was back in the early part of 2012 when our next interviewee was recommended to us by Stuart MacKinnon. We had just met with Stuart to talk about our project and as often happens in these meetings we were given names of other people that might be good to interview. One of those names was Dr. John Blatherwick, a retired Naval Reserve medical officer.

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Dr. John Blatherwick, retired Naval Reserve medical officer

John has many achievements of note from a long and distinguished career, including being Canada’s longest-serving medical health officer, but the one thing that really grabbed our attention was that he held the same office at HMCS Discovery on Deadman’s Island in Stanley Park for twenty-five years. We realized that he may have more than a few good stories to tell!

John was a marvelous interview, even going as far to wear his uniform for us on the day. Unfortunately, even with great efforts from John himself, we were unable to secure permission to film on the island, but we were more than happy to be able to film from the shore and have a great time talking with John.

He told us of his time working on the island, the time he met Arnold Schwarzenegger during the filming of ‘The 6
th Day’, and his great love for Stanley Park, all told with great enthusiasm.
We are delighted to have caught up with John for this interview and so very pleased that he was so eager to help out as it certainly gave us a great insight to such an important part of Deadman Island’s fascinating history.

Many thanks John, and thanks to Stuart MacKinnon also for recommending him all those months ago.

Thanks to everyone for reading, we’ll be back soon with more news!

Busy times for Beautiful Earth

It’s hard to believe that April is upon us already and the park is very much in bloom! This past weekend saw people flocking to the seawall and just about everyone partaking in summer fun, even if it is springtime.

We’ve spent a bit of time down by the Park Board offices lately observing the Heron nests, which is now a very busy place, both with the birds and with lots of people. If you pass by this way you’ll lots of faces gazing skyward and it’s not hard to see why. These magnificent birds are a joy to watch as they swoop in and land. So graceful in flight and so impressive up close. More often than not, if you get yourself down to Lost Lagoon you’ll see one just a few feet from the shore; it’s a wonderful experience to be that close.

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Heron nests

We’ve had two more interviews lately and both went extremely well. We feel very fortunate to have met these two amazing people and to hear the great things they shared with us.

The first was Bruce MacDonald, a local historian and a man who is a seemingly endless fountain of knowledge. One conversation with him will teach you more about the local area than you ever thought you could know. We once attended a talk he gave that lasted for more than two hours. It was so interesting and had us so enthralled that we felt only twenty minutes had passed. He is very much the go-to person for anything in Vancouver’s history. Incidentally, Bruce is the author of ‘Vancouver A Visual History’, which is a fascinating insight on how Vancouver was shaped decade-to-decade. If you have even a passing interest in Vancouver’s history then this book is a must, you will not be disappointed. We were delighted to have met Bruce and to be invited to his home. Just seeing his house was an adventure itself! We could almost do a documentary on him alone. Now there’s an idea…

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Bruce MacDonald: Historian and author of Vancouver a Visual History

Our other interview was with the delightful Stuart Mackinnon. Stuart is one of those people that has an infectious, sunny personality and from the first meeting we had with him we knew we would be in for a real treat when the interview day rolled around. He’s a person that makes you happy just to be in his company and has a genuine passion for nature and for Stanley Park so we knew we had to include him in our project!
Stuart has a great website which we would encourage everyone to have a look at:
betterparks.ca and please check out his Blog too at: betterparks.blogspot.ca

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Stuart Mackinnon

We have done interviews with lots of people who are knowledgeable in various areas which have added a degree of expertise to our project in telling the story and history of the park, but it was Stuart who delved into that heavenly area between the facts and gave us that uplifting emotional ingredient that we love so much. That’s not to say he isn’t knowledgeable because he clearly is in many areas, but he also has that heartfelt passion for nature that came across so beautifully on camera.

We would like to thank both Bruce and Stuart for generously giving their time and their insight to us. It is a constant joy that people like this are willing to do so simply because they believe in our vision and it is that most of all that gives us the drive to continue.